Two days ago, Revenge of the Film Nerds were guests of Culture Shock Events at the Lords of Time convention in Sydney. The con featured seven guests most famous for their contributions to Doctor Who, which this year celebrates its 50th year since it first hit our television screens.
First up, the event features Janet Fielding, whom played Tegan Jovanka, companion to the 5th Doctor. It also featured John Leeson, the voice of K-9, and Nicholas Briggs, who is the modern voice of both Daleks and Cybermen, as well as various other aliens. Most fans were there, however, to meet four Doctors. Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann were all in attendance. Catch the video of our interview with them below;
Significant contributions to the Whoniverse: Unfortunately, the most significant thing that stands out for Sylvester McCoy’s tenure as the Doctor is that he was the last Doctor in the classic run of Doctor Who. This is quite unfair, as McCoy was fantastic in the role, and personally I would love to have seen him play the role a bit longer into the period that the Doctor was absent from our screens.
McCoy’s Doctor met with all the classic villains… The Master (still played by Anthony Ainley), the Cybermen, and the Daleks. He also reunited with the Brigadier, on the final occasion he appeared in a regular episode of the series. In addition to this, there is a very amusing story-line that reveals the Doctor was indeed Merlin from Arthurian legend. In hindsight, this is extremely amusing given the same actor has taken on the role of another prominent wizard, Radagast the Brown from The Hobbit.
Of course, with the series ending in 1989, it meant the show was not running for the 30th anniversary in 1993. A special of sorts did occur though, featuring McCoy, Pertwee, both Bakers and Davison. It was a charity special for Children in Need, called Dimensions in Time, intersecting the Doctor with another popular BBC series EastEnders. Many former companions also appeared, and The Rani also made a return. McCoy was to return one more time after this, to regenerate into Paul McGann in the 1996 telemovie. As a result, though the record of most episodes still goes to Tom Baker, McCoy technically is the one man to play the Doctor for the longest period of time. Continue reading →
Time Lords have the rule of both space and time, but Homo sapiens do not. Our time is running out to get tickets to the latest Culture Shock Event….
That’s right, FOUR DOCTORS!! Five through Eight inclusive. To break it down even further, that means Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann. That is not all, however… Janet Fielding, whom played companion Janet Fielding alongside Davsion, will also be in attendance, as well as John Leeson, voice of K9. Unfortunately, Frazer Hines has had to pull out, which is a real shame as he was quite the entertaining gentleman at last year’s Heroes and Villains convention.
To book your tickets, visit the Culture Shock Events website. We here at Revenge of the Film Nerds look forward to catching up with you all.
While you are at it, don’t forget about our competition which we are currently running, thanks to our friends at CSE!!
Significant contributions to the Whoniverse: The second Baker to take on the role of the Doctor bears little similarity to previous incarnations other than his surname. He was more brash and certainly more egotistical, and had the worst fashion sense of any to date. I can understand his portrayal being divisive at the time, yet by modern standards an attempt to shake things up a bit and being less predictable certainly had some merit.
A recurring character was introduced in a Sixth Doctor story in the form of a Time Lady, known as The Rani. To my recollection, this is the first non-companion Time Lady we have met in the series outside of the realms of Gallifrey. She forms the role of recurring villain who is out for herself, as ill at ease working with the Master just as she is ill at ease working with the Doctor. Her story will prove to intersect quite significantly with the Doctor’s at a later date.
As already alluded to, i think one of the most memorable elements of the sixth Doctor is his outfit, which was as brash and loud as the man was himself. This was not a Doctor accustomed to stealth. Fitting with this nature is the storyline that I feel dominate’s this Doctor’s tenure; Trial of a Time Lord. The Doctor’s actions past and present come under direct scrutiny by the Time Lords, with the Doctor’s exuberance proving potentially disastrous. It is interesting to note that prior to this story, there had been a number of season-long storylines. However, these stories had been loosely connected serials with an end of season pay-off. Trial of a Time Lordwas a full season story bearing only one title, though subsequently story titles have been added. It was a bold move which also led to another first… the Doctor meeting a future incarnation.
Significant contributions to the Whoniverse: It was during Davison’s time as The Doctor that the Doctor Who franchise hit its twentieth year. As such, it was in that specific year that he led the biggest gathering of Doctors to date. Unfortunately it was not genuinely a complete gathering, as Hartnell had passed away, and Baker did not wish to be a part of the adventure. Regardless, it was a great special that also featured both the Daleks and The Master.
Speaking of The Master, this brings me to the next most significant contributions in the Fifth Doctor era. Anthony Ainley became The Master at the end of Baker’s reign, but he truly became a recurring character again with Davison. Despite many times being defeated and supposedly finished, he just kept coming back, setting up the character again for his memorable appearances in the modern series of Who.
Perhaps most significant though, and something the Fifth Doctor is best known for, is the fact that he did not use a sonic screwdriver. In an early Davison episode, the screwdriver was destroyed by an enemy to prevent the Doctor’s escape. No effort was made to replace it, a conscious decision made by the writers to prevent giving the Doctor an easy option out of his various scrapes. This was so unique for The Doctor at the time, that in some respects, it eclipsed the fact the he was wearing a celery stick in his lapel.